Friday, October 26, 2007

Account information

I really thought I am immune, I can handle it! What?

My current account information. Here is my FuturesTrader Setup. This is the screen I'm looking at when I place a trade. It hasn't changed for quite some time and I know exactly where to look for the information I consider necessary for my trading


Btw: I talked about the trades I made in COIL this morning. You see the 2 trades at the bottom of the screen in the Tradebook

In the bottom right corner I always showed my Account information. I was at every second informed about my current Profit or Loss for the day. Actually I was informed even within the trade.

But what I realized the last few days was this: I am dependant on that information whether I take a trade or not, whether I close a trade or not, whether I take a stop or a profit. If I'm above my daily goal, I'm reluctant to place another trade, If I'm down big, I'm more prone to take more trades to trade me out of the hole. But the decision has nothing to do with the chart setup I see, it is only dependant on that green or red number I see in my account information. It is dependant on myself nearing a round number or an important milestone in my account. Actually if I'm trading in a range I often think, will I finally be able to trade above that barrier. Only to see myself doing something dumb and going down again. As if I apply my own chart rules and setups to my account. So if it looks like it can only go down, it will. Some sort of self-fullfilling prophecy.

One click and it's no longer on the screen. For demonstration purposes I always had the option in my program to hide the account information. Now I'm doing it in my regular trading and guess what: I feel less pressure in my trading. I'm able to take a stop, when my setup is not working. I think, it's 2 ticks, but the trade is not working, so cover that short. I did so this morning, when Oil refused to go down at first, I no longer look at the USD amount, at the effect my decision will have on my overall account and concentrate on the next trade instead.

Thing is, seeing the results of a trade decision right on your screen might be detrimental to your trading, if you see your account ticking up or down by tens, hundreds or thousands of USD with each tick in the market.
It's one thing to know I'm down 10 ticks on a long ER2, which now trades at a support and most likely will bounce 20 ticks in no time, it's something different to see your account down say 1,000 USD in 15 seconds. Separating yourself from the money your position represents within a trade and only seeing the ticks you'r up or down is one thing, but seeing the result right on your screen makes sure you can't ignore it. You can't say to yourself it doesn't matter that I'm down 1 Grand. You instinctively know how much you can buy with that 1 Grand you just put in the sand (at least temporarily).